APPOINT CEO, HOGAN TOLD

PARLIAMENT has instructed Minister of Public Enterprises Barbara Hogan to immediately take charge of the process of appointing Transnet's next CEO.

PARLIAMENT has instructed Minister of Public Enterprises Barbara Hogan to immediately take charge of the process of appointing Transnet's next CEO.

The instruction came yesterday from the chairperson of the portfolio committee on public enterprises, Vytjie Mentoor, following the saga around the parastatal's suspended rail freight division CEO Siyabonga Gama.

"We want to take this problem and put it firmly in your lap. You will come back to this committee and account to us that the process was fair," Mentoor said .

The ANC and its allies want Gama to be appointed the parastatal's next CEO. Gama's supporters argue that his suspension is an attempt to prevent him from becoming Transnet's CEO.

Gama faces disciplinary charges related to allegations that he awarded an R800million contract to an outside provider against the board's instructions.

Hogan would however not comment on whether she would appoint Gama or not.

She told Parliament that if the saga did not end soon, she would step in and appoint a CEO in consultation with the cabinet.

"In doing so I will be mindful of the transformational imperatives of our times, the particular skills required for the job and the leadership skills of the candidate," she said.

The ANCYL and SACP have accused the "predominantly white board of directors" of a witch-hunt against Gama in an attempt to stall transformation.

Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda has gone as far as saying that Gama was being persecuted in the same way that President Jacob Zuma was before he became president of both the ANC and the country.

New Labour Department director-general Jimmy Manyi and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe also came out in support of Gama, accusing the Transnet board of plotting to exclude Gama from the top post.

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